Diplocaulobium tortitepalum

Diplocaulobium tortitepalum (J.J.Sm.) A.D.Hawkes, Lloydia 20 (1957) 130.

Basionym: Dendrobium tortitepalum.

Rhizome short. Pseudobulbs crowded, 1-leaved, at base fusiform to ovoid-fusiform, 2.25-2.5 by 0.6-0.8 cm, upper part very slender, 4.5-13.5 cm by 1.7-2.5 mm, near the apex 2.4-3.5 cm long. Leaves erect, lanceolate, 6.3-9.5 by 1.6-2.1 cm, coriaceous, apex equally bidentate. Inflorescences 1-flowered, spathe 1.6-2 cm by 2.8-3.7 mm, acute; peduncle 0.6-1 cm long. Pedicel 3-3.5 cm long; ovary 0.4-0.5 cm long. Flower c. 5-7 cm across. Dorsal sepal 3.3-4.3 cm by 5 mm; mentum 0.68-0.7 cm long, obtuse-truncate. Petals 3.2-3.8 cm by 2.3 mm. Lip 3-lobed, 1.4-1.6 by 0.5-0.63 cm, with two papillose keels, on the base of the midlobe on either side of the keels with a short crest, between the two keels on the midlobe with a longitudinal, verruculose-rugulose keel-like swelling; midlobe 0.73-0.75 by 0.4-0.43 cm, apex acute, subobtuse, or sometimes bidentate. Column 0.3 cm long.
(after Smith, 1929).

Colours: Sepals and petals white, tips pale yellow, lip white, at base pale green, lateral lobes with dark purple stripes that are confluent on the margins, midlobe in the centre yellow, all over irregularly dotted and spotted dark purple, as also between the keels on the disc.

Habitat: Presumably epiphyte in lowland rainforest.

Flowering time in the wild: Not known.

Distribution: New Guinea (endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Jayapura regency: Mamberamo River).

Notes: Diplocaulobium tortitepalum is related to Diplocaulobium vanilliodorum, which has much narrower leaves.

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte.